Habit for Humanity Chicago
Formerly "Windy City Habitat for Humanity"

Qualification Checklist

Qualification to become a Habitat for Humanity Chicago Homeowner is based on three criteria: need, ability to pay, and willingness to partner.



Need is determined by the applicants' current shelter. Evaluation of conditions in current housing, which may include, but not limited to:
  • Structural problems
  • Problems with plumbing, sewage, or electrical systems
  • Unsafe heating system or no formal heating system
  • Little or no insulation
  • Lack of functioning entrance and exit points (front and back doors)
  • Unhealthy conditions including, but not limited to, mold due to roof leaks or pest infestation due to structural cracks and crevices
  • Inoperable kitchen or bathroom
  • Overcrowding (determined by number of persons, their ages, and gender)
  • Cost-burdened (cost of rent plus utilities-excluding phone- is greater than 35% of family's monthly income)
  • Homelessness (living with friends or relatives or in temporary housing)
  • Family has been denied conventional or government assisted housing

Willingness to Partner

Willingness to participate as a "partner" with HFHC

  • Sweat Equity requirements: 250-350 hours
  • Monthly homebuyer education classes: Evening and/or weekend hours
  • Must agree to a home visit prior to being selected into the program

Ability to Pay

Current income and ability to pay for a Habitat house is assessed based on the following:
  • Applicant Debt to Income Ratio (DTI) below 42%
  • No judgments or liens more than 2 years old
  • No collections over $1,000
  • If applicable, bankruptcy and foreclosure discharged for at least 24 months
  • Savings ($500 minimum) with ability to save an additional $1200 for closing costs
  • Applicant income must be between 40-80% of the area median income, depending on family size. Refer to the City of Chicago Area Median Income Chart for more details


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